In these days of slowly increasing maturity of Cloud Computing it becomes more and more obvious that and why IT depends on a well thought layer which I tend to simply call "infrastructure". I have two simple pictures of IT in mind:
- The somewhat classical model of platform, infrastructure, and software, like found in PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS in the common Cloud Computing meta models. It's about hardware and other foundational components like operating systems, about the layer between to manage and orchestrate everything, and the applications themselves.
- Another view consists as well of three layers. The services exposed to the users (i.e. in most cases the business) on top, the service production (either in the public cloud or a private cloud or in non-cloudified IT environments) at the bottom - and a layer in between which again is used for managing and orchestrating everything. Again, this layer might best be called "infrastructure".
When looking at that layer, there are some few key elements:
- Service Management, e.g. the entire area of procurement, service request management, accounting, availability, performance, and whatever it requires to ensure that the services are delivered as expected
- Information Security Management, including IAM (Identity and Access Management) and at least IT GRC (Governance, Risk Management, Compliance)
- Application Infrastructures, e.g. middleware allowing to connect services, to enhance them if required and to do the orchestration
To me it appears to be more important to look at the dependencies of the three services. Information Security and Service Management have to work hand in hand, to ensure that access to services is restricted and controlled. Applications and Information Security are tightly related - think about how to build secure apps. And applications are, at the end of the day, nothing else than services which have to be managed.
I personally believe that starting with such a model and outlining the blueprint for your future IT definitely helps in separating the important from the less important things and to focus on building an IT ecosystem in your organization which is stable and works with whatever you plan to do in the Cloud.
See you at EIC 2011 in Munich, May 10th to 13th.